Garden Lifestyle

New Ideas for Indoor Vegetable Gardening

Vegetable gardeners typically spend the winter months dreaming about spring planting.

Elizabeth Millard, co-founder of Bossy Acres in Minneapolis, explains how easy year-round vegetable gardening can be in her new book called Indoor Kitchen Gardening.

Winter is officially here, but that’s no excuse for settling into the easy chair to wait for spring gardening. All vegetable gardeners need to do is grab a copy of Elizabeth Millard’s new indoor gardening book and start planting.

Indoor Kitchen Gardening (Cool Springs Press, 2014) is filled with creative ideas for “turning your home into a year-round vegetable garden.” The author shows how she grows microgreens, sprouts, herbs, mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers indoors. No special equipment is needed.

All you need is an adventurous gardener’s bent for experimenting with plants. Millard claims “a kitchen-window herb garden with good light can yield plants nearly as big as if they were grown outdoors.” And she has the pictures to prove it.

If you can grow houseplants on a sunny windowsill, there’s no reason you can’t grow something edible there, too. If you need supplemental lighting, the book provides good tips for selecting a simple lighting system.

The first step is to consider what you want to grow and to keep the list manageable. Millard offers these four questions help gardeners get started on their indoor gardening adventure:

  • What do you hope to gain?
  • How ambitious do you want to be?
  • What’s your vacation schedule like?
  • Are you looking for indoor-only growing or transfers between the kitchen and outdoor garden?

Your answers to these questions will help you design a workable plan for your indoor garden. Then it’s time to get started by evaluating available light, space, humidity, and pets and pests. 

Millard offers some crazy ideas for containers for planting. Just about anything can be put to use from partially broken drawers to wicker baskets; retired purses to an unusable rolling luggage bag. Make sure containers have holes for drainage and a tray to catch the excess water. Fill with a potting soil meant for indoor vegetable and herb growing. Then start planting.

The book is filled with inspiring and intriguing indoor images. A window box filled with microgreens. Swiss chard and peppers growing in a basement. A hanging herb basket. Potatoes in a container. Each picture demonstrates that it is possible to grow perfect produce indoors.

I enjoyed Millard’s book and ideas so much that I’m going to follow some of her best advice. I’m going to “go inside and play.”

(Cool Springs Press provided a complimentary copy of Indoor Kitchen Gardening for this review.)

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